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Diversification into applications of neutrons to medical research at the High Flux Reactor (HFR) Petten has led to the development of an epithermal neutron beam for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) of cancer. In this treatment, the stable nuclide 10B is located in a tumour. The tumour is exposed to a neutron beam and the radiation emitted after neutron capture, 10B(n,alpha)7Li, has a short range in tissue so that only tumour cells are destroyed. The failure of earlier trials of BNCT was due to the use of a thermal neutron beam, which gave too high a dose to the skin when treating a tumour at depth. The dose peak of a beam of epithermal neutrons occurs at 2-3cm depth in the tissue. Following a feasibility study and design calculations, a tube capable of producing the required neutron beam has been constructed and installed. After commissioning in early 1991, a programme of radiobiological experiments using cell cultures and mice will be performed.

Additional information

Authors: MOSS R L, JRC Petten (NL);AHLF J, JRC Petten (NL)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: Jahrestagung Kerntechnik 1991, Bonn (DE), May 14-16, 1991
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 35986 ORA
Record Number: 199110418 / Last updated on: 1994-12-02
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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